Nova Scotia plans to add more cannabis retail stores

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The Province of Nova Scotia has reported seeing slower than expected online cannabis sales and as such plans to add more retail stores.

Finance Minister Karen Casey said that the province has asked the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation to add to their current 12 locations and in doing so, it would address some of the geographical that areas that aren’t currently being serviced with a retail store.

“We believed that online would address some of those areas of the province where there was a gap,” said Casey. “We’ve recognized that to date it has not materialized, so we have to look at how can we get out to other areas if online is not going to bring the consumer in.”

Casey said that online sales were supposed to make up 10 percent of the province’s legal cannabis sales, but as of right now it only account for about six percent.

The proposed areas for expansion are near the South Shore and through the Annapolis Valley.

Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation spokesperson Beverly Ware said there are currently no details on how many stores will be added and exactly where they will be located.

“We are focused on managing supply as best we can and we’re going to give it some time to figure out what makes sense in terms of filling any gaps,” said Ware.

“In the meantime, customers can order online and receive home delivery if it’s not convenient for them to go to one of our cannabis stores.”

Casey noted that overall the province has managed its supply well despite nationwide shortages but that they haven’t been able to carry all of the products they told consumers they would.

She also said that there is a third producer in Nova Scotia that is currently waiting for the go ahead, and that this will greatly help with the high demand for cannabis in the province.

“We believe our supply issue will be in a better shape,” she said. “We are better now than we were a couple of months ago.”

She also noted that overall, cannabis sales have not had as great of an impact on the province’s bottom line as they were expecting.

“We’d like to think it’s a wash,” said Casey.

“We believe it will not be an additional cost or an additional source of revenue for the province.”

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